'I am absolutely gutted,' said the Greek hero of myth and legend, 'I was really looking forward to representing my country and now this.' Achilles, regarded by many as the bravest and most beautiful of all warriors, is currently undergoing treatment for a recurring tendon injury that may have finally ended his international career.
'This is nothing less than a Greek tragedy for the lad,' said team mate, Odysseus, 'he must be sick a papagalos.' Team captain Agamemnon agreed: 'We are all praying to Zeus that Achilles can make a full recovery in time for June when the Trojan campaign begins. Without him on our side it could be a real battle.'
The warrior, who had hoped to represent his country for a record fourth time, was injured during a recent minor skirmish. 'He just pulled up lame, mumbling something about his heel,’ said compatriot Ajax, 'In the end I had to physically carry him from the field.'
Achilles is understood to be undergoing treatment with renown sports therapist, Dr Hippocrates of Cos. 'A tear to the tendon is a very serious injury indeed,' said the father of all medicine, 'There is an outside chance of recovery but I certainly couldn't swear an oath to it.'
The loss of Achilles would be a serious blow to the Greek side that relies heavily on his experience, good looks and all consuming rage. 'This is a major set back,' said Odysseus, 'but, with or without him, I am confident that the boys can still make it through to the latter stages of the competition. Don’t forget, we still have Wayne the Minotaur on our side.'
However, most pundits are sceptical. When asked to predict his chances of recovery, The Oracle at Delphi simply laughed and said: 'You must be having a laugh mate. There's more chance of England winning the World Cup.'